Earlier today saw the official announcement of WWE being sold to Endeavor, with the sports entertainment powerhouse set to merge with the UFC to form a new publicly traded company. This follows Vince McMahon’s controversial return to the company this past January, with the 77-year-old set to remain a part of the newly founded company as the executive chairman.
As pointed out in the filing, WWE executives Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Nick Khan are set to receive a significant bonus following the deal, with Triple H taking in $5 million and Khan receiving $15 million.
“In light of their significant contributions to the Company prior to and in connection with the Transactions and to promote retention, the Company, following the approval of the WWE Compensation Committee, entered into bonus letter agreements (each a “Bonus Agreement”), dated as of April 1, 2023 and effective as of April 2, 2023, with certain executive officers including Nick Khan, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Frank A. Riddick III, the Company’s President & Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Levesque, the Company’s Chief Content Officer. The Bonus Agreements each provide for a cash payment (the “Bonus”) in the event a Sale Transaction (as defined in the Bonus Agreements) is consummated on or before February 28, 2024 (unless such date is extended by the Company’s Board of Directors, in its discretion) (a “Qualifying Sale Transaction”).-World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
For Messrs. Khan and Levesque, the amount of their Bonuses is equal to $15,000,000 and $5,000,000, respectively, with 100% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction, subject to their continuous employment through the closing date (except as otherwise noted below). For Mr. Riddick, the amount of his Bonus is equal to $5,000,000, with 60% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction and 40% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the six-month anniversary of the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction, subject to his continuous employment through each such date (except as otherwise noted below). In the event any of Messrs. Khan, Riddick and Levesque is terminated by the Company without Cause or resigns for Good Reason (each as defined in the applicable Bonus Agreement) prior to the payment date(s) described above, the unpaid portion of his respective Bonus shall vest and become payable as of the date of termination.
The foregoing description of the Bonus Agreements does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Bonus Agreements for Messrs. Khan, Riddick and Levesque, copies of which will be filed as exhibits to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023 and which will be incorporated by reference herein.”
Following the merger, Nick Khan is set to become the President of WWE, whilst Triple H will reportedly remain the company’s Chief Content Executive.
The sale of WWE to Endeavor and the subsequent merger with the UFC is one of the biggest wrestling news stories of the decade thus far, and so as always, we’ll aim to provide any further updates on this rapidly developing story as soon as we hear more.